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83-year-old woman keeps active by playing in competitive softball leagues

Posted at 6:44 PM, Nov 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-15 20:45:10-05

There's no way around it. Norma Franzese dominates on the softball diamond.

The 83-year-old has played the sport for more than 50 years. That's more than half of her adult life pitching for a variety of recreational and competitive leagues across the country.  

"For the 50 years I've been playing it's been me on the mound," Franzese told us.  

ABC15 met with Norma at her neighborhood league in Mesa. The community called Monte Vista Village Resort has its own field, stands and PA booth. On Wednesday we caught Norma at a scrimmage for her slow pitch team. What stands out in this league, Norma is the only woman on the field.  

"You're pitching with the guys that are 70?" We asked.  

"Some of them are 60," she corrected.  

Norma's been playing with the guys since 1990. It’s a break in the routine from her fast pitch team that's collected a number of titles. In fact, the Queen Bees won this year's Senior Women 65+ Championship title from the Huntsman World Senior Games tournament.

"I tell the young girls, hey just go at it! If you stay with it and you keep up, it it'll keep you in shape and that's what it's for. I said play serious and play for fun that's what it's for," Franzese said.  

We asked Norma when she would hang up the glove and cleats. She told us she's not sure. Every year she gives it a shot to see if she can still pitch her best. From what we saw, her playing career isn't going to end any time soon.